I AM NOT GOING TO VOTE ON PROCEDURAL ARGUMENTS ABOUT COVID/MASKS - DO NOT READ THEM IN FRONT OF ME - I WILL INTERVENE TO NOT VOTE FOR THEM
-yes email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org - feel free to reach me there before or after the round with any questions you have as well
-debated in high school @ Mill Valley and college @ NYU for 7 years total - mostly policy arguments in high school, mix of high theory and policy in college
-assistant coach at Blue Valley West, former assistant for Mill Valley and Mamaroneck
-spin > evidence quality, unless the evidence is completely inconsistent with the spin
-tech > truth as long as the tech has a claim, warrant, and impact
-great for impact turns
-fairness is more of an internal link or impact filter than an impact itself
-don't like to judge kick but if you give me reasons to I might
-personally think condo has gone way too far in recent years and more people should go for it, but I don't presume anything for theory questions
-most of the rounds I judge are clash debates, but I've been in policy v policy and k v k both as a debater and judge so I'm down for anything
-apparently, I take a long time with my decisions - often I go all the way to the decision time - this does not say anything about the debate, I am just trying to give the best feedback possible, so don't read into it
Debate is for the debaters so do your thing and I'll do my best to provide a fair decision despite any preferences or experiences that I have. I have had the opportunity to judge and participate in debates of several different formats, circuits, and styles in my short career. What I've found is that all forms of debate are valuable in some way, though often for different reasons, whether it be policy, critical, performance, LD, PF, local circuit, national circuit, public debates, etc. Please have fun! Debating is fun for you I hope!
Rules of Thumb:
-Clarity: I fervently believe that debate is a communicative activity, and therefore insist that I can hear and understand every word that is being said. I will say clear at most twice during a speech, then give up flowing. Often debaters will have different levels of clarity during different parts of their speech, sometimes making it difficult to call out unclear speech if the moment passes. To avoid this, please just be clear in the first place. As I have just recently stopped debating and have judged a good number of high school and college debates, I'd like to think I have a pretty well-attuned ear, meaning that if I can't understand you it is probably because you are being genuinely unclear, not because you are going too fast.
COVID Update - Please try to be as clear as possible, but obviously tech issues are just going to get in the way sometimes. I can't say clear over Zoom, but you should generally know if you're being clear or not. I follow along in speech docs occasionally now if I need to, but I try not to make a habit out of it. If you're unclear during a later rebuttal speech, there's really not much I can do.
-Etiquette: I have a soft spot for debaters from smaller or underfunded programs. I despise arrogance from debaters with more experience and resources against those without. Confidence is fine, but there can be a fine line between it and meanness. Please recognize that everyone has different levels of access to the activity and refrain from disparaging other debaters implicitly or explicitly because of their background, or I will lower your speaks dramatically. Luckily, I have only seen a couple of serious examples of this, but I find it important to mention nonetheless.
-Cards: As a debater, I always hated when judges read cards to find arguments that weren't really present in a speech. I try to rely on the debate in front of me as much as I can, but I've found that I have to resort to reading evidence in a lot of debates I would rather not because the debaters do not do a good enough job explaining warrants or doing evidence comparison, leaving me to do these things on my own. I also find that I have a preference for longer cards with more highlighting and fleshed out warrants, even in straight-up policy debates. I dislike having to find warrants in un-underlined or un-highlighted portions of cards when I'm reading evidence after the debate, and may not consider them at all if I don't think they're consistent with the rest of the highlighting. I don't usually follow along in speech docs.
-The Clash of Civilizations: Since I started out reading policy args in a very k-heavy region, then transitioned to reading more k args against policy teams nationally, most of my college debate career has been clash debates. These are also the debates that I always excelled the most in, on either side of the spectrum. Trying to convince me that one side or the other is completely irredeemable is possible, but not something I am necessarily amenable to. I find arguments that X model of debate produces research/skills, but those are the wrong kinds of skills, and ours are better because of Y and Z to be more convincing.
It seems this is the main reason most people read paradigms these days. I have voted both ways in these debates, and have been on both sides (2A reading a k aff & 1N going for fw in the block) of the framework debate in my career.
I think negative teams here most often miss why things like fairness and education are important. Impact these claims out into some tangible benefit that I can compare against the impact turn. Writing a neg ballot only on procedural fairness is hard for me. I find a lot of these debates to end up pretty tautological - "fairness is an impact because debate is a game and games should have rules or else they'd be unfair," etc. These debates leave me wondering how to compare fairness to something tangible like psychological violence or political passivity in a traditional impact calc sense. I find fairness much more convincing to me as an impact filter, i.e. a reason to be skeptical of the case page, ensuring better clash, etc. This is considered a hot take by a lot of people, but I really don't understand why. Many teams in front of me will win that fairness is necessary to preserve the game, but never take the next step of explaining to me why preserving the game is good. In that scenario, what "impact" am I really voting on? Even if the other team agrees that the game of debate is good (which a lot of k affs contest anyways), you still have to quantify or qualify how important that is for me reasonably compare it to the impact turn. Perhaps if you read something like deontology arguments that say fairness is a virtue I must always preserve, I could vote on it alone, but in a utilitarian sense, I just don't know how to weigh it against anything. Fairness as a filter to some neg arguments and a more external impact like skills or topic-specific education is a much more convincing ballot for me. When I do vote on fairness alone, it is usually because the negative team has also forwarded substantial defensive arguments like a convincing TVA, read it on the neg, or c/i links to aff offense that mitigates the risk of the impact turn to nearly zero.
I generally prefer aff strategies that just impact turn framework. I have seen and voted for predictable counter-interps, but a lot of the time it feels like an uphill battle. Most of the time, the neg is able to tie a good chunk of their offense to the predictability portion of the debate, which really hurts c/i solvency. That being said, a counter-interp can still mitigate a good amount of neg offense, so it may be still good to have one even if you are impact turning some of the neg's stuff. I just wouldn't recommend it as the focus of your strategy. Like the neg however, aff teams need to do more than make nebulous references to things like psychological violence. What kind of violence, and why is it more important than debating the topic? Explain to me in clear terms what the impact to your impact turn is. Be careful of large defensive arguments. I have dropped a number of teams who mishandle read it on the neg or who read impact turns that link to their own interp.
Everyone needs to compare their impacts to the other side's as well as relative solvency of the interps, and tell me why I should vote for them. For some reason, impact comparison just seems to disappear from debaters' repertoire when debating framework, which is really frustrating for me.
Other Argument Preferences:
-Kritiks: Both sides of these debates often involve a lot of people reading overviews at each other, especially in high school, which can make it hard to evaluate at the end of the round. Have a clear link story and a reason why the alternative resolves those links. Absent an alt, have a framework as to why your impacts matter/why you still win the round. For affs, pick either the impact turn strat or the perm strat and stick with it. I like impact turns better, but sometimes perms are more strategic. I'm not sure how useful this is, but the way I think about kritiks may also be a bit different than what you're used to. Rather than thinking about it as a non-unique disad with a counterplan, I think about the impacts as negative effects of the status quo, the alternative as a way of resolving the status quo, and the links as reasons why the aff prevents the alternative from happening, rather than something that directly causes the impacts. This framing helps me a lot when I'm thinking through permutations. This is of course when I'm evaluating something like fiat. Winning that the debate should only be about representations and that the affirmative's reps are bad for scholarship is also a convincing ballot for me.
Literature I am intimately familiar with (have run these arguments frequently and/or have done other research outside of debate into them): Cap, Psychoanalysis (more Lacan than Freud), Baudrillard, Foucault, DnG, Bataille, plant ontology (lol), Bifo, Edelman, Puar.
Literature I am somewhat familiar with (have run these arguments infrequently or done some coaching on them): Derrida, Wilderson, Warren, Set Col.
Anything else assume that I have little or no familiarity with.
-Affirmatives: I think all affs should have a clear impact story with a good solvency advocate explaining why the aff resolves the links to those impacts. I really enjoy affs that are creative and outside of what a lot of people are reading, but are still grounded in the resolution. If you can find a clever interpretation of the topic or policy idea that the community hasn't thought of yet, I'll probably bump your speaks a bit.
-Disads: Love 'em. Impact framing is very important in these debates. A lot of disads (especially politics) have pretty bad ev/internal link chains, so try to wow me with 1 good card rather than spitting out 10 bad ones. 0 risk of a disad is absolutely a thing. I don't automatically presume a 1% chance of the link for the whole debate just because you read 1 or 2 bad cards in the 1NC. You have to actually win the link debate for me to grant you a chance of a link.
-Counterplans: They should have solvency advocates and a clear story for competition. Exploit generic link chains in affs. I read some wonky process cps and pics in my career but if the aff wins theory then they win theory. I won't judge kick unless you tell me to in the 2NR, and preferably it should have some kind of justification.
-Topicality: I default to competing interps most of the time, but you can convince me that I should vote on reasonability. Be clear about what your interp includes and excludes and why that is a good thing. I view topicality like a disad most of the time, and vote for whoever's vision of the topic is best.
-Theory: Being a 2A I think makes more inherently sympathetic to affs on theory questions and the like. I think condo has gone way too far in recent years, especially with multi-plank counterplans that have dozens or hundreds of possible combinations that can all be kicked. If the aff wins new affs are good, it doesn't make sense to me why new affs would then justify unbridled conditionality. That being said, I do my best to evaluate theory arguments as well as I would any other argument in debate. I haven't thought too hard about other theory questions. If you're winning it as a reason to reject the team, feel free to go for it no matter how silly you think it is.
Random Things I Like:
-I love impact turns. Everything from prolif good and dedev to spark and wipeout.
-I think that intrinsicness vs. agenda politics disads is an underutilized argument. By that I mean if the affirmative can prove that both the agenda item and plan can happen at the same time then I will assign the da 0 risk. I think most political capital is finite ev is pretty bad and does not actually establish tradeoffs, but hey maybe you'll surprise me.
-I like numbering 2AC responses to off-case and 1NC responses to case arguments. If you can keep consistent numbering and substructure I will be a fan and it will help my flow.
-Jokes if you're funny. I'm not funny so I get it and you shouldn't feel obligated.
This is a pretty good scale that I like to use: http://collegedebateratings.weebly.com/uploads/4/2/0/5/42050991/point-scale-desc-6_orig.png
Extras (you get extra points for 1 reference per round): Brandon Sanderson novels (stormlight, mistborn, or warbreaker) +.3, AoT +.2, HxH through greed island arc +.2, Haikyuu +.1, jjk +.1, HxH after greed island arc -.2 (in the middle of chimera ant and would like to avoid spoilers).
I have a lot of personal political and philosophical beliefs, but I try my best to leave them at the door. Being funny or just doing things to make the debate more enjoyable will boost your speaker points. I think debate is a game, and I think it's a pretty fun one. So while winning or losing, always try to have fun. You don't need to always take things so seriously. I don't understand why someone would do this activity if they didn't enjoy it.